October 13, 2010

{Parent's Day Essay Contest: 3rd Place Winner}

On October 3, 2010 I was invited to the Colorado Parent’s Day Awards Banquet to speak and to judge an essay writing contest.  It was a heart touching event organized by Peggy Yujiri and her team at the Colorado Parent’s Day Council, which celebrated  parents of excellence and the parents of the year. Many excellent essays were submitted and I was privileged to read them all and want to share the three winners with you.

My Relationship with My Parents
by Krista Smith

In this essay I will share about the ever growing and changing thing that is my relationship with my parents.
I wish that I had a better word to use; the word “relationship” doesn’t seem nearly powerful enough to convey the bond between parents and their children. For one thing the connection we have is much more than just the affiliation between people, or a “mutual exchange”, as the dictionary defines a relationship to be. As we’ve been told, the love of a parent to a child is the most powerful, beautiful kind of love there is. But in this essay I would like to write not only about the unconditional love of a parent, but also about some of the stages and feelings (both loving and not) of the child.
          From the very beginning of my relationship to my mother and father, that is from the beginning of my life, my parents made mistakes. They would do all sorts of little things to regret, they were only human, and learning the complicated difficult process of raising children. It didn’t exactly make it easier that they had four children within three years, and then a fifth only three years later. At this point my parents had a five-year-old, two four-year-olds, a three-year-old, and a new born baby to worry about, not to mention the difficulties of a matched marriage and a low income. Just today we were talking to our parents about what an insane time that must have been, and they were telling us how much they would yell at us and then regret their anger almost instantly. My parents were probably stretched so far by the stress and noise and chaos of five young children that they yelled at us more in that crazy time than they do now with four teenagers and a preteen. The funny thing is that when looking back on that time of my early childhood, my parent’s frustration and difficulty with us is not at all what prevails in my memory. What I remember most from that time is an unconditional love and admiration for my parents that I had, especially my mother. In my eyes they were absolutely perfect. Although there were (and are) a lot of us, I don’t remember ever feeling unloved or attention needy, I just recall how in my innocent, childish eyes my parents never did anything wrong.
As time went on and we children grew into preteens my mind, as every mind does, began to mature and change. I began to look at the world, and at my parents, in a very different way. Although they were as good of parents then as they were in my early childhood I began to view my parents as less and less perfect. One might say that at that time in my life I became aware that my parents were human, that they made mistakes, that that they were, at times, unjust. I saw that they too got tired and grouchy, that they got impatient and angry and sad. And I was mad at them. Shouldn’t they, adults, be mature, responsible, and right all the time? It just didn’t seem fair. It never entered my mind that I should thank them for all that they did or that I should try to shoulder some of their burden by helping them in whatever way I could; in my immature mind I thought that it was their job and responsibility to care for me and everything else. Of course another part of this was that my once entirely innocent vision had now been clouded by other things. When I thought that my parents were being unjust or unkind, they really had my best interest in mind. A parent’s job is more than just loving their child, parents also have to discipline and shape them into the person they will be. So when I didn’t understand why I had do the dishes and wash my own clothes when my friends didn’t, it was not because I was growing up and becoming more mature as I thought, but because I still had a lot to learn.
I am currently in yet another stage in my relationship to my parents. Now when I see that they are human just like me and can be worn down with worry, can want to cry for frustration, and sometimes wish that things are different then they are, when I see that sometimes they make mistakes too, that they do things they regret, instead of making me mad, it makes me proud. I cannot even comprehend all that they’ve done, that they do all that they do. I am in awe and beyond grateful to think that they do it all unconditionally for their children, for me.
As I grow into an adult, and perhaps have children of my own and, in some way, walk the path that my parents have, I know that I will only grow closer and closer to my parents and that my gratitude and admiration for them will only increase. I know that our “relationship”, the beautiful bond I cannot find a name for, will continue to grow as the most perfect, breathtaking, powerful love in the universe.       
{Parent's Day Essay Contest: 3rd Place Winner}SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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